The Supreme Court could fundamentally redefine the 2020 election
By Ronald Klain
Oct. 24, 2019
At last week’s Democratic presidential debate, two issues — abortion and the Supreme Court — finally made it onto the agenda. But the relatively abstract discussion of potential schemes to add to the court’s membership or rotate justices off the court masked a critical point: Circumstances may be conspiring to put abortion and the court at the center of 2020’s campaign in a way unmatched in a generation.
Why? Because of the potential convergence of two gigantic events in June 2020. First, that is when the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision in a Louisiana abortion case — a ruling that will likely substantially restrict abortion rights even if it does not outright overturn Roe v. Wade. Second, notwithstanding his public protestations to the contrary, Justice Clarence Thomas may retire that same month, setting off a brutal battle over his replacement.
Why anti-abortion groups are backing away from abortion bans
Debate around a Tennessee bill shows a big shift in anti-abortion strategy.
By Anna North
Aug 22, 2019
When legislators in Tennessee debated a bill earlier this month that would ban abortion as soon as a pregnancy can be detected, opposition came from a surprising place: anti-abortion groups.
Though the groups National Right to Life and Tennessee Right to Life oppose abortion, they also oppose the Tennessee ban, because they believe it would never stand up in court. If such a ban were to make it to the Supreme Court, the groups worry it would fail: “There is no objective evidence that we have more than one vote to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said James Bopp, general counsel of the National Right to Life Committee, which describes itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization,” in testimony against the bill.
Missouri and the Fight for Abortion Rights: How Past Became Prologue
Missouri’s historic battle for abortion rights presaged in important ways where we are today, and what will be required of reproductive rights advocates in the future.
Aug 1, 2019
The time, the late 1960s; the place, St. Louis, Missouri. Judy Widdicombe, a twenty-something self-described supermom, was raising two boys with her husband, working as a labor and delivery nurse in a Catholic hospital, and volunteering one night a week as a counselor on a suicide prevention hotline.
“In those days, there was no official place a woman with an unwanted pregnancy could go for help,” she told me when I interviewed her for my book, The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion.
The Invisible Hand of Justice Stevens on Abortion
He was a leading if often unseen strategist who helped protect a woman’s right to choose.
By Linda Greenhouse
July 20, 2019
During the days following the death last Tuesday of Justice John Paul Stevens, admirers posted lists of their favorite and not-so-favorite Stevens opinions. Free speech on the internet? A great one. No First Amendment protection for burning an American flag? Not so great. Access to federal court for Guantánamo detainees? Definitely. Upholding an Indiana voter ID requirement? Hmm …
Items on these lists, posted on blogs and websites, ranged widely. Missing, however, were opinions dealing with abortion. That’s surprising, since Justice Stevens wrote opinions in many of the abortion cases that came before the court during his 35-year tenure.
Abortion Law: Global Comparisons
A recent spate of state laws to restrict abortion services in the United States has reignited debate over the procedure. How does the United States’ regulation of abortion compare to the rest of the world?
by Rachel B. Vogelstein and Rebecca Turkington
July 15, 2019
The past fifty years have been characterized by an unmistakable trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws, particularly in the industrialized world. Amid ongoing debate over the procedure, the trend has coincided with a drop in abortion rates worldwide. As nations across the globe have expanded the grounds on which women can access reproductive health services, the quality and safety of abortion care has improved, as has maternal survival.
Abortion rates are relatively similar between countries with highly restrictive abortion laws and those where the procedure is permitted without restriction, at between 34 and 37 per 1,000 women annually [PDF], but the safety of the procedure diverges widely: almost 90 percent of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared with only 25 percent of those in countries in which abortion is banned.
Conservatives Are Making Abortion Rights More Popular By Attacking Them
It seems some people don't know what they have until it's almost gone.
by Marie Solis
Jul 12 2019
Escalating attacks on abortion rights may be contributing to a surge in pro-choice sentiment, according to a new ABC News/ Washington Post poll.
The findings show support for abortion has hit a 24-year high in the U.S., with 60 percent of Americans agreeing that the procedure should be legal “in all or most cases,” and 27 percent saying it should be legal “in all cases.”
As Passions Flare in Abortion Debate, Many Americans Say ‘It’s Complicated’
“It has become so loud, going both ways. And the divide is only getting bigger,” said Jeannie Wallace French, a Democrat who opposes abortion.
By Jeremy W. Peters
June 15, 2019
PITTSBURGH — Abortion is an issue that Lynndora Smith-Holmes goes back and forth on. “Six of one, half dozen of the other,” she said the other day as she finished her lunch break. “Does it go back to people having abortions in back alleys? Haven’t we overcome that?” she asked, questioning the restrictive laws passed recently in states like Alabama and Kentucky.
At the same time, Ms. Smith-Holmes, who works for a day care center in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh and votes Democratic, said there should be limits. And she is not comfortable with the idea of taxpayer money going to fund abortions — a position that has become almost impossible to hold in the Democratic presidential primary. “Who’s paying for these?” she wondered.
The Abortion Bans Aren’t Just About Repealing Roe v Wade
The extreme, dangerous anti-abortion laws in Ohio, Alabama, and Georgia are serving as a distraction from the Right's real agenda: closing every last loophole to abortion access once ‘Roe’ is overturned.
May 15, 2019
It is 2019 and abortion is still legal. Yes, in each and every state in America.
This seems like something that shouldn’t need to be announced, yet here we are. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen abortion restrictions hit a fever pitch, with Georgia and Ohio signing so-called “heartbeat” bans, which would make abortion illegal within about two weeks after a missed period), and a ban that criminalizes abortion at conception passing in both chambers of the Alabama legislature, which is expected to be signed by the governor.
A Supreme Court Reporter Defines the Threat to Abortion Rights
By Isaac Chotiner
May 14, 2019
The past two weeks have been some of the worst on record for abortion rights in the U.S. Last week, the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, signed a bill that outlaws abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Now Alabama is planning to go a step further, with the country’s most extreme anti-abortion law. Under the proposed legislation, abortion would be criminalized, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest; doctors could face a ninety-nine-year prison sentence for terminating a pregnancy. The Alabama House has passed the bill, and the Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Tuesday evening.
Both the Georgia and Alabama laws are sure to be challenged in court, but the legal climate surrounding abortion is different than it was just last year. After the replacement of the Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts is the swing vote, and many conservatives have reason to hope that the Court will rule in favor of new restrictions on abortion and eventually even overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Supreme Court Just Outlined How It Might Get Rid of Abortion Rights
To overrule Roe v. Wade, the Court’s five conservatives will first have to explain why they’re setting aside a 46-year-old precedent. A separate case decided this week provides hints about how they’ll do it.
By Jay Willis
May 13, 2019
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, in which the Court's five-justice conservative bloc determined that state governments enjoy sovereign immunity — that is, they cannot be sued as a matter of law — in both their own state's courts and in the courts of other states, too.
This case is notable not only because of its implications for the future of litigating certain interstate civil claims. To reach its conclusion in Hyatt, the majority first had to overturn a 40-year-old Supreme Court case that reached the opposite conclusion, over the vociferous protestations of the four-justice liberal minority. At a moment when anti-choice activists are working diligently to get a case before the Court that will allow its five conservative justices to overturn the 46-year-old precedent of Roe v. Wade, thereby gutting abortion rights in this country, Hyatt functions as a tidy preview of that coming showdown. And the result should make pro-choice advocates very nervous.